Educator of the Week: Mechelle Naylor

CROCKETT COUNTY, Tenn. — It’s time for this week’s Educator of the Week, brought to you by the Tennessee Education Lottery.

Eow Naylor

Mechelle Naylor is one educator who is well traversed in her field.

She has taught a variety of grades in her 28 years of teaching, from pre-kindergarten all the way to the college level. However, she says her main dream of coaching started when she was young.

“My dad coached for 27 years, so I always wanted to coach. I went to all the basketball practices with him and everything, and I knew then that that’s what I wanted to do,” Naylor said.

After graduating from the University of Tennessee at Martin, she began her career at Crockett County High School.

After a few years, an opportunity arose that she couldn’t pass up.

“One of my dreams was always to coach in college, so when I got the opportunity to coach at Jackson State, I took it. I coached there for 10 years — softball and basketball,” Naylor said.

Afterwards, Naylor taught in Dyersburg for a short time before moving back to Crockett County.

“I got this job offer with [physical education] at the elementary school, so I thought, ‘Well, I’ll end it at the elementary level since I’ve taught at all grade levels,” Naylor said.

Naylor has been teaching PE at Maury City Elementary and Friendship Elementary Schools concurrently.

This past year, she was offered the opportunity to teach STEM classes as well. She says the classes provide a different way of learning, when compared to others.

“Starting them this young, it helps these kids not to just learn facts, they get to come in my class, there’s no pressure. I tell them what the end product should be and they get to work at their own pace, ” Naylor said.

STEM classes provide a creative outlook and strengthen problem solving skills.

Naylor says the path to success may look little different in STEM classes, but the end result is what matters.

“We’re looking for the end product. Like today we made ice cream. If everybody’s ice cream gets to the state where it’s solid, that’s success,” Naylor said. “But they all might do it a different way.”

Naylor is now eligible for the Tennessee Education Lottery Educator of the Month award.

To vote for her or any other nominees, go to the Tennessee Education Lottery website.

To nominate a teacher for our weekly award, email us at

Categories: Educator of the Week